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Published: Tuesday, 1/15/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Northwood bakery, depot could be part of $360M deal

BY KRIS TURNER
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

The Hostess bakery and depot in Northwood could rise from their shuttered states if a $360 million deal goes forward.

Flowers Foods Inc. was chosen by Hostess on Friday as a potential buyer of its bread-related assets. The agreement between the two companies would include a $360 million cash payment, and it is subject to approval by a bankruptcy judge.

If the deal is approved, other companies would have the opportunity to outbid Flowers Foods to take ownership of Hostess brands that include Butternut, Home Pride, Merita, Nature's Pride, and Wonder.

“It's still very early in the process and it has to go through the process that the bankruptcy court has established,” said Keith Hancock, a spokesman for Flowers Foods, in Thomasville, Ga. Flowers' top brands are Nature’s Own and Tastykake.

Hostess, the maker of Twinkies and other famed snack products, closed its operations in November after it couldn't resolve a contract dispute with its bakers' union. More than 18,000 employees lost their jobs as part of that move, including more than 250 in northwest Ohio.

Hostess also had a bakery in Defiance.

Anita-Marie Laurie, a spokesman for Hostess, said the only Hostess holdings in Ohio that are included in the Flowers Foods deal are the Northwood facilities and a depot in Heath.

Many of the company's other holdings and snack food recipes, including Twinkies, CupCakes, Ding Dongs, and Ho Hos, likely will be sold as part of a separate auction.

Ms. Laurie said all questions about potential job creation should be directed to Flowers Foods. Mr. Hancock said it is too early to speculate how many jobs would be created if Flowers Foods does take possession of the facilities.

“It's just one stop in a lengthy process and is not final by any means,” Mr. Hancock said.

Contact Kris Turner at: kturner@theblade.com or 419-724-6103.



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